understand the stress and worry that a dilapidations claim brings to
most tenants. Failure to meet obligations to repair and redecorate the
premises in accordance with the terms of the lease can lead to a claim
for substantial financial compensation or requirement to undertake an
agreed programme of work.
If you are considering becoming a Tenant of a commercial building we can significantly reduce your future liability for dilapidations by following a fairly simple process. If you would like further information on our professional services, including the preparation of Schedules of Condition, please click here.
If you have been served with a final schedule, we will accurately quantify and reduce the extent of any claim. The procedure when acting for you as tenant usually involves:-
1. Careful study of the express repairing covenants contained in the lease. The wording of the lease is critical in defining the Tenants liability and varies considerably from one lease to another.
Lease wording has been subject to significant scrutiny by the Courts and the specific meaning of key words and phrases such as 'repair', 'renewal' .....is the subject of much dilapidations case law.
2. Detailed survey of the building to establish its condition and an analysis of each item in the Schedule of Dilapidations to verify whether it is justified by the terms of the lease.
3. Advice on best strategy for minimising claim. Undertaking work is
often the best way of mitigating a claim. This gives the tenant control
over costs and will avoid the Landlords costs associated with administering
remedial work. The VAT element can usually be reclaimed if the tenant
is appropriately VAT registered.
4. Consideration as to whether statutory relief applies, by virtue of protection offered by Section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927. This section of the Act states that the Landlord claim is limited to the diminution in the value of the property caused by breach of repair.
A Landlord who intends to demolish and redevelop a building upon the termination of a lease, will not be entitled to damages as any disrepair would be irrelevant in such circumstances.
5. Meet and discuss the claim with the Landlord or Landlord's agent and negotiate a fair settlement where common ground can be found. An agreed settlement is by far the most common outcome.
If no agreement can be reached, we are able to provide expert witness evidence as part of any Court proceedings or Dispute Resolution mediation.
We will always provide detailed estimate of fees prior to commencement of professional advice and provide monthly statements of account detailing the work undertaken and time allocated to the case.